Exploring the manner that two values which are both held as crucial by folks I know form a pair with a unique tension between them…
The first is an adherence to absolutes.
The second is acceptance. Absolutism taken to extremes leads to rigid judgments. Acceptance taken to extremes tends to shy away from the work creative transformation demands.
While each of these creates a counter position to the other, it is my sense that combined, they create a third reality where ideals are not compromised, superiority does not run rampant, and a healthy understanding of the human condition guides expectations.
It’s interesting to me how some pairs of opposites are not as obvious as hot/cold. None the less, it’s the creative experience between the opposites where the field we call “life” opens up.
I recall one college philosophy professor distinctly making the claim that the trouble with our culture is that we have lost the ability to repose in idleness. Without a certain latitude to our purposeful anxiety, he argued, the mind would never be receptive to new insights. Each and every piece of mental energy instead gets placed into the service of the almighty agenda.
To counter our collective addiction to living by the list, I’m about to keep a promise to myself in celebration of this Labor Day weekend and in memory of that obscure philosopher. It’s one I’d like to think you’ll make yourself as well. I’m going to take a nap.
Now where’s that pillow?
Chris posted on facial recognition and the value of using images of faces on our blogs. It’s a fascinating subject and brings me to share the fruit of a book that proved the most difficult treasure I’ve ever hunted down: “The Human Face” by Max Picard. Within, it contains twenty-two essays on what he called the spiritual envelope that is the human face.
“Two human faces look upon each other. A silence ensues. A silence that does not arise from the earth, but from eternity. Two faces look upon each other, and for a moment time ceases and stands still. And all the hours that are hidden away in time begin to strike together, and as they strike, a marvelous tone dwells in the air, and, in this loud silence of the hours, eternity enters. Thus does time call up eternity.”
Do you have a book that was difficult to find? Or maybe it jumped off the shelf of an old used book store at you? Perhaps it is a bit rare, perhaps completely unknown, but none the less, you treasure it? Would you share a passage of it with us?